DeKalb, Illinois: Barbed Wire History Exhibit, Little House

Displays in mansion of a barbed wire baron show the varieties and dangers of his prickly product. Queen Anne style 1891 Little House was built as a contractor's model and parade float.

Elwood House Museum

Address:
509 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL
Directions:
Elwood House Museum. From Hwy 38 (Lincoln Hwy) turn north onto 1st St. Drive three blocks. Turn left (west) onto Augusta Ave. and then bear right onto Rolfe Rd. The parking lot will be on the right. The visitor center is to the left (west) of the parking lot.
Hours:
March-Nov. Tu-Su 12:30-4:30 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
815-756-4609
Admission:
Free to look.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Barbed Wire History Exhibit, Little House

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Little House, originally an 1891 contractor's model and parade float.

Barbed Wire History Exhibit

Ellwood House was closed to yours truly due to Coronavirus -- but the grounds, Little House, and visitor center were open and free (donation appreciated).

[Clark W, 10/27/2020]

Silver Pine Healing Oil.

Barbed Wire History Exhibit

The city of the DeKalb was for a time the barbed-wire capital of the world. It was known as "Barbed City." One of the guys who got rich from barbed wire was Isaac Ellwood, and his fancy house and grounds are now a museum. The visitor center has a nice exhibit on the history of barbed wire, with lots of prickly samples of the fence that tamed the Wild West. Don't miss the collection of barbed wire liniment bottles with an advertisement showing an unhappy-looking horse apparently bleeding to death due to a run-in with some nasty barbed wire.

[John Takao Collier, 10/29/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
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